I've written that Cuomo's silence as King and Tisch get raked over the Common Core coals spoke volumes about what the governor was willing to do to support his education reform agenda.
I've posted that somebody seemed to be polling people on how they felt about APPR, Common Core, charter schools and Governor Cuomo, a polling effort that seemed to be coming from Cuomo's people, and that effort indicated Cuomo was getting nervous over the Common Core protests.
Finally today we saw a Siena poll with Governor Cuomo's job performance numbers in the toilet, with only 44% approving of his performance as governor, 56% disapproving.
I tried to put all this into perspective this morning:
This is a governor who once had 79% approval rating.
Hes now at 44% and under water by 12 percentage points.
I suspect he is watching the uprising over reform agenda with increasing alarm.
Cuomo doesn't like to back down on policy, but given the increasing furor over his education reform agenda and his plummeting job performance numbers, he is going to be forced to back down on much of his.
Because if he doubles down on these reforms, backs Tisch and King, and tells everybody the state is going "full speed ahead" with its reform implementation no matter what the public thinks, he is going to take a serious hit in his re-election bid in 2014.
Cuomo wants to run up the score in the 2014 election to set up a White House run in 2016.
I don't see him doubling down on the King/Tisch reform agenda and risking that White House dream of his.
So we'll see how much longer he stays quiet on this and when he finally does get put on the record over the parent protests of the SED/Regents reform agenda, we'll parse very carefully what he says.
And it didn't take long for Cuomo to make some public acknowledgement that his education reform agenda is untenable, even if he didn't exactly own up to it being his education reform agenda.
Here's Jessica Bakeman at Capital NY:
ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he would consider “legislative changes” to address parents' concerns about the rigorous Common Core standards, on which New York schools started testing some students last April.
“I've heard quite a bit from the parents who are very concerned about Common Core,” Cuomo told reporters after an event on Staten Island. “It's part of a national curriculum that the national experts say is actually going to be beneficial.
“But there's no doubt that there are significant elements, at least in the transition, that are problematic,” he continued.
Cuomo stressed that he doesn't have authority over the state Education Department. The state Board of Regents directs the department and elects its commissioner, currently John King. But the state does determine funding for schools, and the governor has pushed a series of competitive grants and a new system of teacher evaluations.
The Common Core curriculum standards have been voluntarily adopted by 45 states and aim to boost students' readiness for college and careers. Parents and teachers, often at public forums, have said the curriculum is developmentally inappropriate for students and that the state has botched the implementation.
“It's actually a decision that the state Education Department is going to make, which ironically, although the state Education Department does not report to the governor … it's something we're watching very closely,” he said. “And it's something that might be the subject of legislative changes next year. But it's not anything that I control, so we are watching."
I'm going to take a much closer look at what the governor said in a later post, but for now, let me just say that the governor just blinked on his education reform agenda.
And it's not a mistake that Cuomo is breaking his silence after the release of the Siena poll showing him under water by 12 points in job performance and losing a potential presidential match-up to Chris Christie in his own state of New York.
As I have written before, Cuomo has this idea that he should run for president and he's got his sights set on 2016 already.
But in order to set up a viable White House run, he has to win re-election convincingly next year and he has to have pretty good approval numbers.
Hard to say how much Common Core, the state testing regime and teacher evaluations tied to test scores drove his performance numbers down, but if the governor was polling people on these issues as we suspected he was last week, than you can bet that they are hurting him enough to force him to blink on Common Core.